The Alternator Replacing of Your Car

In most cars, a warning light will tell you when the alternator is dying. If not, you’ll know soon enough when your car stalls (from running off a depleted battery) or won’t turn over when you try to start it. Novice mechanics can replace dead or dying alternators as long as the alternators are accessible from the top of the engine. (If they’re down around the bottom of the block, they can be impossible to see and you have to work by feel to get them out and replace them; that takes experience.)

To do the job, you’ll need wrenches, including a socket wrench. Some cars might also require a special tool to take the tension off the belt. And be sure to do things in the proper order. Unbolting the alternator before dimension the belt could cause both of them to bind up so that you won’t be able to budge either of them.

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